CLOSER TO FAIRBANKS
The Fairbanks Borough has several recreation areas good for fatbiking. For more information contact the borough parks department (907/459-1070; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tanana Lakes Recreation Area (borough park)
- Start place: Several parking options (see map).
- Ride description: Flat trails; several loop options.
- Please stay off classic ski tracks.
- Could do loops that allow people who want to do shorter rides while also allowing for people who want to do longer rides. (Can include Tanana River and trails south of river after it freezes.)
Skyline Ridge Park Trails (borough park)
- Start place: Corner of MIA and Noel roads (https://goo.gl/maps/Nr1VLxGEWkVXWbaZ9)
- Ride description: Hilly trails, some are narrow and tricky; several loop options.
- Notes: Can do loops that start with easier trails and progress to harder ones. Shortest loops are about 2-3 miles.
Isberg Recreation Area (borough park)
- Start place: Oboe Court trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/zTur57djtLNjtCJL7
- Ride description: Lowland trails are relatively flat, though one or two have challenging climbs; upland trails are hilly, and some have really steep, short sections.
- Maps: https://fairbanksak.myrec.com/forms/6005_isbergrectrailsmap_2018.pdf
- Notes: Can start with easier lowland trails, loop back, then go longer into the hills. Shortest lowland loop is about 3 miles.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
- Start place: Several places (see map)
- Ride description: Most trails at UAF are ski-only or walk-only in winter, but there are a few open to cycling. You can do loops of varying lengths on the west side of campus using the Yankovich and Sheep Creek paths and various paths in the trail system. There are some hills, but they are not too drastic.
- Map: https://uaf.edu/fs/files/northcampus/winter-trails/allwinter.pdf
- Check the Bike/walk paths. The community paths in the north can also be used. However, be careful not to ride on groomed ski tracks on the Skarland Trail or wherever you find them.
Goldstream Valley West Loop
- Start place: Parking past Ann’s Greenhouses: https://goo.gl/maps/5D1kcPxz8qgCiaVo8
- Alternate start: Ivory Jack’s restaurant
- Alternate start: Pullout off Ballaine Road just south of Goldstream Creek
- Ride description: Mostly flat trails; ride Tanana Valley RR Trail to Ballaine Road, then return by connecting several trails and roads (Ballaine-Sandhill Trail, Sandhill Ave, Harpers Road, Dawn Drive, Dawn to Sauna Trail, Sauna to O’Brien and O’Brien Powerline trails). Loop is about 9 miles or so.
- Resource: Trailforks mapping app (use Winter Fat Bike “Activity Type”).
- Could also do an out-and-back in either direction.
- Several unmarked turnoffs, so at least one person should be familiar with the route
- To combine shorter and longer rides, could do the initial loop then head up to the Ester Dome Singletrack trails.
Goldstream Valley East Loop
- Start place: Pullout off Ballaine Road just south of Goldstream Creek.
- Ride description: Mostly flat trails; ride Tanana Valley RR Trail in a northeast direction; find the connection and then ride back on the Goldstream Valley Northside Trail. Loop is about 9 miles.
- Resource: Trailforks mapping app (use Winter Fat Bike “Activity Type”)
- Could also do an out-and-back in either direction.
- Several unmarked turnoffs, so at least one person should be familiar with the route.
- To combine shorter and longer rides could do the loop, then add in the Goldstream Valley West Loop (or head up to Skyline Ridge).
- Can also add in an out-and-back on the El Dorado Creek Trail
Eldorado Creek Trail
- Start place: Eldorado Creek Trailhead off Goldstream Road.
- Ride description: Gradual steady climb up a creek drainage, with a few steep, relatively short climbs. Some overflow areas. First one, about a half-mile in, is most challenging.
- Can be done as an out-and-back (5.5 miles one way to pipeline); can be done as a loop if return via the Waterford Trail (about 10-11 miles, also on Trailforks).
O’Connor Creek Trail
- Start place: Meet at Ivory Jack’s restaurant parking lot.
- Ride description: Overall, a gradual steady climb up a creek drainage, with a few steep, relatively short climbs. Three main overflow areas. Uneven trail in places. Can be challenging, especially earlier in winter before there is sufficient snowpack. Ride up Jones Road (or follow the trail that parallels it if you know that one.) If ride up Jones, then get on trail at Jones-Waldheim intersection. (About 7 miles or so one-way.)
- Notes: Generally, an out-and-back, but can create much longer loops if connect with other trails, such as Moose Mountain powerline trail or Eldorado Creek trail.
Ester Dome Singletrack Trails
- Start place:
- Ester Dome Singletrack parking area: https://goo.gl/maps/EyLEAJfkktsg7KSV7
- Parking just past Ann’s Greenhouses: https://goo.gl/maps/5D1kcPxz8qgCiaVo8
- Ride description: Challenging but fun climbs and descents; can be even more challenging if trail is not packed. Two main loops (3-mile and 6-mile). Other Ester Dome trails could be added in for more variety.
- Notes: Start at Ann’s Greenhouses pullout requires a mile or so of road riding each way.
OTHER RIDES IN THE FAIRBANKS AREA
Tanana Valley State Forest – Rosie Creek Area
- Start place:
- Rosie Creek Parking (off Parks Highway): www.trailforks.com/tracker/map/?ping=64.790751,-148.199222
- Beaver Pond Trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/nT65dcAoefCBR6WM6
- Oboe Court Trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/oBaacmEVn6fXLBSMA
- Ride description: Varies depending on where you start. Starting lower (Beaver Pond and Oboe Court) allows for shorter, flattish rides or longer rides with hills. Starting higher (Parks Highway) makes for longer rides with a good amount of climbing to get back to the trailhead.
- Note: If use Oboe Court Trailhead, take the 100-Mile Loop Trail that crosses Cripple Creek Road (see Isberg Rec Area map).
- Start place:
- Tanana Wayside and Boat Launch: https://goo.gl/maps/MBrtRKNxtHNk2kDs5
- Tanana Lakes Recreation Area (see listing above)
- Ride description: Flat ride going for as long as you want either downriver or up. You can also take snowmachine trails across the river into the Tanana Flats, but make sure you don’t get lost in the maze. Also, watch for open water or signs of weakness in the ice any time you are on a river, lake or pond.
- No maps, but the Tanana River Challenge has a race map that shows some of it: https://tananariverchallenge.org/race-info/course-start/
Cache Creek Forestry Road
- Start place: Martin Siding Trailhead (intersection of Murphy Dome and Cache Creek roads)
- Ride description: Out-and-back on forestry roads. Can be as long or short as you want. Has some substantial hills.
- A map and descriptions of other local forestry roads can be found on our Resources page:
- There might be a bit of car traffic the first couple of miles, where a subdivision road turns off to the right (uphill). Normally, the car traffic is minimal to non-existent.
- Will be an out-and-back with some possible side road explorations.
- Can also head straight down from trailhead and access the Dunbar Trail that runs along the railroad. Can go either direction.
FARTHER NORTH OF FAIRBANKS
Old Murphy Dome Road (trail section)
- Start place: Meet on Old Murphy Dome Road at end of maintenance from Elliott Highway entrance: https://goo.gl/maps/UcMSxsmTBHBP7KML9
- Ride description: Well-kept dog mushing trails with several options. There are several intersections, so go with someone who knows or have fun exploring! Main trail (OMD road/trail) goes all the way to McCall Street (closer to Murphy Dome) where it turns into a maintained road. (About 5 miles one-way)
- Notes: Interesting side option with hills: Old Nike Missile Site Loop and Moose Mountain/OMDR connector (both on Trailforks).
Gilmore Trail Trail
- Start place: End of state maintenance (end of pavement) on Gilmore Trail road:
- Ride description: Out-and-back. Starts mellow, gets into some hills, then climbs a big hill, before getting into mellower but still tough hills.
- Maps: Unfortunately don’t have one yet
- Notes: Nice viewpoint at top of the big hill (if you take the right trail up the hill).
FARTHER OUT FROM FAIRBANKS
If you want to venture farther out of town, there are several options including:
Chena River Recreation Area (North Pole) (borough park)
- Start place: Several parking area options (see map).
- Ride description: Fairly flat trails; many loop options.
- Multi-use trails definitely open to fatbiking; River Park Trails may be open to fatbiking (check with parks department).
- Direct recreation area phone: (907) 488-1655
- If River Park Trails are open, please stay off classic ski tracks.
- To combine shorter and longer rides could do loops that allow people who want to do shorter rides while also allowing for people who want to do longer rides. (Can include Chena River after it freezes.)
White Mountains (meet at Wickersham Dome Trailhead; Trail Creek Trail out-and-back)
- Start place: Most popular place is Wickersham Creek Trailhead
- Ride description: Multi-use, motorized Wickersham Creek Trail is the one to take in winter. Starts with a relatively gradual one-mile climb. You can do out-and-backs as far as you like. Several hills. Several good turnaround points between trailhead and trail intersection with Trail Creek Trail about 6.5 miles in. After that both trails require substantial climbs on the return.
- Note: Use Mountain Bike for “Activity Type.” For some reason these trails are not in Trail Forks as winter trails.
- Notes: White Mountains Nat Rec Area trails can also be access from these three trailheads:
- Colorado Creek Trailhead: Mile 57 Elliott Highway
- McKay Creek Trailhead: Mile 42 Steese Highway
- US Creek Road Trailhead: Mile 57 Steese Highway
Circle-Fairbanks Trail – southern end (meet at Cleary Summit pullout; out-and-back)
- Start place:
- Cleary Summit: https://goo.gl/maps/sUHqCbKURj5TbUHx9
- Circle-Fairbanks Trail Trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/uN9pk8EmyGjPyGCz7
- Ride description: Hilly, two-track; out-and-back
- Notes: In winter, road to trailhead is not regularly maintained. Cleary Summit is the most reliable parking and requires a few miles to get to the trailhead, but the views are nice.
Chena River State Recreation Area
All are out the Chena Hot Springs Road. Several trail ride options.
- Chena Hot Springs Winter Trail
- Mostly flat; hills are gradual and/or short
- Follows Chena River and Chena Hot Springs Road (though not too close)
- Has several road-accessible places for access
- First trailhead at Flat Creek: https://goo.gl/maps/3MHPWJqNCWintQcV8
- Goes all the way to Chena Hot Springs
- Note: Leads to Yukon Quest Trail, so you can go all the way to Whitehorse!
- Compeau and Colorado Creek trails
- Out-and-back on either or loop; Compeau is hilly, Colorado Creek is relatively flat
- Stiles Creek Trail
- Out-and-back on either end or add Winter Trail for loop; hilly
- Mastodon Creek Trail
- Out-and-back; hilly
- Non-motorized; trail not always broken in winter
- Angel Creek Winter and Angel Creek Hillside trails
- Out-and-back on either or loop
- Winter trail is relatively flat; Hillside trail is hilly
- Hillside trail not always broken winter